Head is swimming on the heath care issue right now. In too many ways to keep track.
I’ve had a long track record of supporting a single payer, national health insurance plan that would guarantee coverage for everyone. I feel even stronger about this now than when I was a Mother Jones reading college student at dear old Chico State. I like the Canadian example, and would like to see something like implemented here. I kind of reject the idea that Canadians are flocking across the border to be treated in the United States, that they hate their health plan, aren’t able to get the care they need or that the aged are put out to pasture.
The biggest difference that I can tell from the Canadian system and our own, and this comes from family investigation mind you, meaning that my grandparents and all of my aunts and uncles and cousins on my Mothers side of the family live in Montreal or Toronto, are two fold. Canadians do find themselves waiting for certain procedures, elective mostly.. That new knee that you wanted may be a couple months before you get it, where in the United States, its next week. There are stories about emergency rooms and hours and hours of waiting, about transfers to US hospitals, treatment of high profile Provincial Government officials being treated in the Unites States for cancer.. The other big difference? Insurance. In the Canada, doctors bill one insurance company. And, while Canadian doctors make less money on average than doctors in United States, especially in Family Practice and GP, they also enjoy lower malpractice rates and insurance adjudication fees.
The stats however show that the number of Canadians crossing border for health issues is miniscule, and is countered by the number of American crossing the border for drugs and clinical visits. In addition, mortality rates for diseases is about the same in Canada slightly higher in heart disease and certain cancers, slightly lower is some, bottom line? Life expectancy in Canada is 81 years, the United States its about 79 years.
In addition, Consumer Reports has found that 40% of Americans do not have adequate coverage for catastrophic illness, 16% do not have coverage at all. American spends 16% of our GDP on heathcare, Canada 10%. That’s a big spread with very small differences. What gives? I believe that the big difference is the role the insurance companies play in our equation. Private insurance in not an efficient vehicle for managing health care across our society simply put. It puts us in a position where your ability to pay determines your access and your outcome. Free Market folks would tell you that this how it’s supposed to be, it’s unfortunate but it creates motivation for the resource sucking poor folks to improve their situation. Ironically these are the same people who attend Churches and Synagogues, call themselves religious.. (sic) Talk about ignoring the tenants of their faith.. or maybe they just like to pick the tenants they like, ignore the poor on healthcare because that’s going cost me but emphasize the sins of being homosexual and deny people their due process when they want to marry.. (sorry I digress)
My own belief is that in a country as wealthy as ours no one should not have access to health care. Matter of fact, I would go so far as to say it’s a human right, maybe not called out in the constitution, but morally it something we’re should be doing. We love the disparage the French in this country, fact is they one of the finest healthcare systems in the world. Life expectancies higher than ours, infant mortality higher than ours, access to healthcare, universal.
I get the joke that we’re no where near close to that in America. I get that our system is bought and paid for by forces bigger than government, because frankly, they pay for government. (sic) But what I don’t get, and what isn’t to much to ask for, is open debate about the issue, lets discuss options, what works what doesn’t work.. Where we’re going it down right ugly, and I’ll be honest, in my opinion as un-American as fascism. Oh wait, that’s what were dealing with here..
Reading the news about how Obama wants to euthanize old folks with death committees that will dole out care on a quality of life basis. We certainly don’t want the government doing that. Honestly, this is such a red herring is disgusting. I would even put forward that we already have this. In this country. Case in point, me.
A few years ago I was interested in starting a small business. I looked into the options, had a plan, and looked into how much private heath insurance was going to cost my family. What I learned at that time.. I can’t get private health insurance. I’m uninsurable because I had a melanoma cut off my back about six years go. As a result, no agency I talked with would insure me. One concession I got; we can right a policy but it will dictate that no cancer related treatments in your future will be covered. But I don’t have cancer. But you might and as a result should you get diagnosed with cancer, we will not cover any surgeries, drug therapy or oncology visits.
In other words if, down the road I get a non-related cancer, my only option is to die? Apparently their perspective is no, and this killed me (so tp speak), “you can be treated, we just aren’t going to cover it because of a pre-existing condition.” . The choice would be; put the family in financial ruin so I can get treated or just slip away. I was accused of being dramatic, but that about what it comes to… and then you have to ask what a life might be worth financially. My point being, the end of life committee is already in place and functioning. Now, realistically as long as I stay employed for a company with a group insurance plan I should be Ok. That’s great news, unless you lose your job or want to strike it out on your own.
What I’d like to get out this whole exercise is a open dialogue about this countries healthcare system. I’d like for Rush and Ann and all the folks on Talk Radio to either engage in the discussion or shut the hell help. Communicating a string of lies about a proposal that has not yet passed, telling grandma that she’s going to be sent out to pasture or that everyone all their doctors will be replaced by government employees is ridiculous. Comparing the president to Hitler and Nazism is downright disgusting and shouldn’t tolerated at all.